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November 23rd, 2010
06:00 PM ET

Hostess, Hanover, Butterball and company vow to reduce salt

Your Wonder bread, Snyder's of Hanover chips and Butterball deli meats and hot dogs will become less salty over the next five years.

Six major food companies pledged to join efforts to cut the amount of salt in their products, signing on to a national effort involving packaged and restaurant foods, according to the New York City Health Department.

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Turkey skin: More good fat than bad, and other Thanksgiving truths
November 23rd, 2010
04:20 PM ET

Turkey skin: More good fat than bad, and other Thanksgiving truths

It's that time of year again when some people try to take the fun out of Thanksgiving dinner by highlighting just how many calories the average American will be consuming in this one, very special meal. It completely overshadows the fact that the individual, traditional components of this feast have some true health benefits and with some simple techniques can be prepared in a tasty AND healthy way. It's worth a reminder of what we're eating (in moderation) is truly good for us.

Turkey
"Turkey is a lean, flavorful protein source," says Marisa Moore, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. "It's also a source of trace minerals zinc and selenium, which helps with cell and tissue repair and growth," she adds. Harvard's health newsletter says it's hard to beat turkey when you're looking for a lean cut of meat: "A 3-ounce serving of skinless white meat [which is about the size of a woman's palm] contains 25 grams of protein, barely 3 grams of fat, and less than 1 gram of saturated fat." The newsletter also notes that turkey is a good source of arginine, which some research suggests may help open arteries.

You may not have to forgo the scrumptious skin either, suggests Lilian Cheung, editorial director of "The Nutrition Source" from Harvard's School of Public Health. "There is more monounsaturated fat than saturated fat in poultry skin.  The skin adds calories, but there is more healthful fat in it than unhealthful fat. So it's OK to enjoy, if you like it," she tells CNN.  Moore suggests having some, rather than a whole plateful of skin may be advisable.  "If you roast your turkey on a rack most of the fat will drip down" says Cheung. Cooking Light magazine offers a recipe for the ultimate roasted turkey .

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Get Some Sleep: When shift work disrupts your rest
November 23rd, 2010
12:43 PM ET

Get Some Sleep: When shift work disrupts your rest

An estimated 20 percent of the American workforce does some type of shift work. This doesn’t have to mean working the graveyard shift.  It can mean any work done between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Most sleep doctors agree that working at night, from a biologic point of view, is not natural for human beings.  We have evolved to be active in the daytime and to sleep at night.  In fact nearly every cell in our body has a circadian rhythm, meaning that biological processes have a 24-hour cycle.   And this is how we lived for thousands of years, until the invention of the lightbulb, which has allowed us to separate our activities from the rhythm of the sun, but at our own peril.

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Filed under: Sleep

November 23rd, 2010
09:24 AM ET

Could emotional withdrawal be side effect of new med?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Tuesdays, it's Dr. Charles Raison, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University, and an expert in the mind-body connection for health.

Question asked by Lisa, Pennsylvania

My daughter started taking Zoloft for anxiety two weeks ago and since then, she has gone from talking to me every day to not speaking to me for days. We were very close, and now she gives me the cold shoulder. Her response is she doesn't want to talk and she is depressed. She has more or less cut herself off from her family. Is this a side effect? FULL POST


AIDS drugs may stop HIV transmission
November 23rd, 2010
08:01 AM ET

AIDS drugs may stop HIV transmission

Researchers have shown for the first time, that a  combination of two antiretroviral drugs taken daily reduces the risk of HIV transmission in men and transgendered women having sex with men.  In the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, nearly 2,500 men were given either an oral combination of two widely used HIV medications  (emtricitabine and tenofovir) or a placebo. 

The risk of infection was reduced by almost 44 percent in the group getting the drugs. The risk was reduced even further– almost 73 percent –in study participants who took the drugs for most of the year.

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Diabetes or prediabetes predicted for half of Americans by 2020
November 23rd, 2010
12:05 AM ET

Diabetes or prediabetes predicted for half of Americans by 2020

More than half of all Americans will have diabetes or prediabetes by the year 2020, at a cumulative cost of $3.35 trillion unless something drastically changes with U.S. health trends, according to a new analysis conducted by UnitedHealth Group's Center for Health Reform and Modernization.

Study investigators say diabetes and prediabetes will also account for an estimated 10 percent of total health care spending by the end of the decade at an annual cost of almost $500 billion. That's up from an estimated $194 billion in 2010.

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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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